Year 1 Blog

Welcome to the blog for our Year 1 classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.

Mrs Gibbons

Green Class Teacher

Mrs De Vynck

Purple Class Teacher

We have two year 1 classes. Children in these classes are developing their skills and building on the learning from Foundation Stage. When the children are ready, usually by October half term, the learning becomes based on the Key Stage One National Curriculum Programmes of Study. We still believe that children learn best when the ‘subjects’ are linked in a meaningful way and then basic skills are taught for a real purpose. We encourage the children to take ownership of their learning, ask questions and have a say in the planning process. We hope to motivate all children by taking account of their needs, strengths and interests and provide rich experiences and learning opportunities which will continue to excite them.

100th Maths Meeting in Purple Class

The children in Purple Class have been counting down since before last half-term and today we celebrated our 100th Maths Meeting of the year. This is a part of their school day the children really look forward to and participate enthusiastically. The purpose of these short sessions is to consolidate key areas of Maths and introduce new topics daily. We start each meeting with a song or a chant (some Abba chorus too!) and talk about some calendar facts. Lately we started introducing money and you might have noticed your child looking more carefully at the coins in your purse. They can describe most coins so far and are starting to understand the value of each. We will be looking at different ways to make a 100 using the manipulatives we have available in class during Maths Meeting this week.

Internet safety.

This week all the children in the school have been learning about how to keep themselves safe on modern day technology, including lap tops, mobile phones, ipads, kindles and tablets. This was because it was National Internet Safety day last Tuesday 7th February.

Each class has heard a story about Smarti the Penguin to see how he learns to be safe whilst using his new tablet. There is a catchy song that goes with the story so begin singing to your child(ren) Before you click, click, click….This story and song can be found on the Child Net website along with other resources that you might like to use to discuss Esafety with your child.

The children were also introduced to several Esafety characters found on the Think U Know website which has a section which is specifically for 5 to 7 year olds. Superhero SID also has a catchy song!

Please do take time to talk with your child about Esafety and what they should do at home if they were to come across or receive something that was not appropriate or nasty. We talked about seeing things that made us have a butterfly feeling in our tummies and upset us.

Have fun but more importantly, keep safe.

It’s half term

This was a short however very busy half-term in Year 1. The children have continued to show good progress in their learning. We were very impressed with the recounts of the local area walk which they wrote today. They have learnt a great amount of new vocabulary regarding the buildings and features they see on their way to school. They used time connectives to write their events in chronological order and adjectives to add more detail to their descriptions. Yesterday we re-traced our route using google maps and they have drawn their own maps. Once again we would like to thank the parents who helped during the walk, making our outdoor learning even more exciting.

We are busy preparing for another exciting half-term and in the meantime we hope you enjoy a restful week and stay warm. We look forward to welcome you all back in a week’s time and listening about your adventures.

Local Area Walk

Year 1 donned their coats, hats and gloves to identify buildings around the school this afternoon. We were all very excited to witness trees being chopped down at the garages next to junior school, an example of how areas change over time. We also found out that some of the photos we have from previous years are now out of date. One garage from two linked detached houses is now a living room! We saw the Cunningham Hill Farmhouse which is over 400 years old and more modern houses. We talked about the differences between different houses – detached, semi-detached, bungalows, flats, terraced. We asked which our favourite shop was and why. The fish and chip shop is very popular!

We also looked out for physical (natural) and human (manmade) features in the area and this is something you could continue to do with your child. 

All the children were perfectly behaved. They listened very well and are clearly very interested in their environment, all of which are excellent points to learn from. Thank you very much to the lovely parents who came to help. Without this voluntary support we could not get out and about so much; and doing this really brings learning alive.

wc 30th January in Year 1

Children in Purple and Green Classes are really into the stride of “learning the year 1 way” now; and i’ts great to see them following routines and learning independently, with partners, so much better as they year goes on, We are nearly halfway through this academic year!

In Maths the children have been using calculation methods – NOT counting on and counting back! – to add and subtract. The week ended with solving word problems, including deciding whether the operation required is addition or subtraction, itself a thought process which requires good number sense and true Mathematical understanding.

In Green Class, I had a chat to the children about the importance of mastering thoroughly number bonds within and to 10 – ie the sheets which were sent home and the start of this half-term (with more to follow after the half-term holiday. The necessity for being able to have the answers to these equations at your fingertips was demonstrated in Thursday’s Maths session. The equation which needed answering was 12 + 4 =      (though it could just have easily been a subtraction equation such as 16 – 4 =        ). I asked the children which number fact they could use to help them and after a lot of thought a child said 2 + 4 = 6. Then you add the ten in 12 and the answer is 16. The more children practise the bonds within ten the better they can answer problems using two, three or more digit numbers. Please do practise these bonds regularly with your children as it’s probably the single most useful thing you can do to help their progression in learning, after reading. Thank you.

A very important focus in education just now is the concept of “mastery” – knowing a subject really well, with depth, so you can talk about it from many different viewpoints, with correct language, confidence and accuracy. Achieving this requires effort, tenacity and determination. I was at a presentation last week where some quotes were shared and I thought I’d share some with you, to try and explain what learning behaviours the children should demonstrate to develop mastery. It’s not about being born with a certain amount of “cleverness” and using with it, but developing skills to develop mastery. These are not new ideas, as these quotes show…

“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – by Michelangelo (1475 – 1654)

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” – Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

And this may be my favourite –

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” –   Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

Mrs Munsey was in Green Class on Friday, so sadly I did not see how the Perform Drama session went. I have heard that all the children in year 1 enjoyed it and I should be able to post some photos on Monday. Both classes have continued with developing the dance based on “Where The Wild Things Are”  and their movement is becoming more fluid and co-ordinated. Friday’s writing was an alternative ending to the story and I have read some very thoughtful story endings in the books.

In Geography, we have been learning about how the subject is about places. The children looked at lots of different photos from all over the world and used good geographical words – desert, sea, surf, volcano, city, for example – to describe what was on them. We used the technique “I look, I see, I wonder” to unpick what exactly the scenes were and using our imagination to see what might be actually happening. We have some more thinking to develop about what Geography really includes. We will do more of this on our local area walk on Wednesday. We will use technical words to describe what we see in the area.

The theme of instructions and direction are important ones in year 1 – left, right, backwards, forwards, how many? – and these are continued to be explored in Computing. Next week we should conclude the current topic with the children using instructions – or algorithms to make the bee-bots travel, hopefully to the intended location!

Both classes have Book Club (guided reading) at least twice a week. We have an extensive collection of new, interesting books the children love reading. These are important sessions to see how well the children understand the text (comprehension) and to model and practise reading with good expression and intonation. It’s important to note that non-fiction books also need to be read with good pace and cadence, resulting in good intonation – to show that the reader understands what they are reading and to make the listener enjoys listening to the information!

The children’s handwriting, as a whole, is progressing well, with their script becoming smaller,  more regularly formed and more ascenders and descenders correctly shown. The next step for many children is to start using the joins learnt – not the ones which we haven’t practised! – in daily writing in topic books.

The weather for Wednesday is currently forecast to be similar to today (Sunday) – so cool/chilly and overcast, which could well mean damp. Please make sure the children have their normal coats, gloves and hats as we’ll spend about an hour in the afternoon walking round the area close to school.

Hope everyone has had a relaxing weekend and that all the bugs and coughs are going away – there are some nastily persistent viruses around just now. Look forward to seeing you all for one week before the half-term week’s holiday.


Sainsbury Vouchers

The vouchers have started to trickle in. Thank you very much for your contributions so far. I spoke to Sainsburys at London Colney today. You should be given the  coloured, individual vouchers at staffed tills, but the “till receipt” type vouchers from the self-checkouts. If these are not dispensed at the self-checkout tills then you can ask an available assistant, or at customer services. Thank you for your support.

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